The Stage at which Therapy, not Addiction Treatment, Is Needed for Your Teen

The Stage at which Therapy not Addiction Treatment Is Needed for Your Teen

If you are concerned that your teenager has an alcohol, drug or other form of addiction, you will want to take action as soon as possible instead of waiting until the problem worsens taking steps to intervene. A teenager’s body and brain continues to develop at this stage of their life. They lack the ability to effectively regulate their behavior as their brain’s reward system is fully functional, but their prefrontal cortex is still developing. This is somewhat like a car with a fully functioning gas pedal but without brakes. Since they are highly motivated to pursue pleasure but have extremely limited judgment and decision-making skills, they might not have the capability of knowing how to use discretion when it comes to addictive substances, which can be a dangerous combination that allows addiction to develop rapidly. Combine this with the long-lasting effect substances of these potent substances on the brain, and you can see why the sooner your teen’s addiction is confronted, the better. According to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many substance abusers develop their addiction as teenagers.

Intervention for Addiction

Because addiction is a chronic disease, many simply can’t quit using drugs cold turkey for a brief period and be permanently cured. Most addicts need long-term care to stop using completely before they are rehabilitated as well as counseling to help avoid relapse. If your teen’s problem has spiraled into a full-blown, out-of-control addiction that causes problems with their thoughts, feelings and actions to the point of hindering their normal daily living, he or she might need intense addiction treatment. But if the addiction has not progressed quite that far, therapy might be an effective solution.

Most teens will not believe that they have a problem. They will need to want to get better, and therapy will only work if the adolescent works with the therapist and puts into practice what they learn. As parents of teens know, convincing adolescents to do something against their desire is challenging.

Types of Therapy

There are three main types of therapy for teens: individual, group and family. Group counseling might consist of outpatient or inpatient treatment, which is more intense. The type of therapy that your teen requires depends on how severe the addiction and what type of addiction that he or she faces. Effective treatment will address all of the patient’s needs, not just their drug use. If your child is defensive and unwilling to see a therapist, family therapy might suit him since it will help your child not feel singled out, but sense that the whole family is there for him, working on the addiction together and bonding through the experience.

Counseling and behavioral therapy are the most common forms of treatment. These methods help patients with the following:

Since therapeutic boarding schools can cost thousands of dollars per month, you need to determine the severity of your child’s addiction before deciding on residential treatment. If your teen can benefit from therapy instead of addiction treatment, your whole family might reap the benefits.

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